FAQs - Planning

We've put together some common questions we receive from our community about Planning and the corresponding answers. 

8 Result(s) Found

For non-notified resource consents (applications where there are no affected parties), we have 20 working days to process your application. We can request further information once during this time, which will result in your application being placed on hold.

Applications for a ‘boundary activity’ (see above) or a marginal or temporary breach of the District Plan to be treated as a permitted activity must be processed within 10 working days, once all information is received. If the application is missing any information, it will be returned to you. We will then have 10 working days to process your application from the date we receive all necessary information.

Notified applications can take up to 6 months to process, depending on whether the application was publicly notified (notified to everybody) or limited notified (for example, notified to neighbours only).

You can apply for resource consent by filling out the form on the Resource Consent Application Forms page. Information that needs to be included with the form is as follows:

  • Certificate of title
  • Scale site plan
  • Elevations
  • Assessment of Environmental Effects

If you think your neighbour (or any other party) might be affected by your proposal, it is advised you ask them to provide written approval for your activity prior to lodging your application with Council. Providing written approval from all affected parties with your application will result in time and cost savings in the processing of your application. You can ask the Council’s Duty Planner for advice on which parties are likely to be considered affected.

Written approval must be provided on the following form and should include the following:

  • Signed site plan and elevations
  • Signed description of the activity
  • All owners and occupiers of the affected property must sign

Please note that Council cannot accept conditional written approvals.

You can lodge your application by dropping your application in at the Council reception, posting your application to our PO Box address, or online by emailing your application to recordsprocessing@horowhenua.govt.nz

If you need help with your resource consent application, please contact the Council’s Duty Planner on (06) 366 0999 to arrange a meeting.

For complex applications, you may require assistance from an independent planning consultant to prepare your application.

Council has rules regarding the maximum height of fences in the Residential Zone. These are set out below.

Front Road Boundary

  • 1.5 metres where the fence or wall fronts a front road boundary; or
  • 2 metres where the fence or wall fronts a front road boundary and at least the upper 0.5 metres of the fence is at least 50% transparent.

Other boundaries

  • Maximum 2m high

Questions regarding who is responsible for paying for the cost of fencing are set out in the Fencing Act 1978. This is a civil matter that Council cannot get involved in. However, we do have a useful brochure which summarises your rights. The following websites also provide information regarding the Fencing Act.

Disputes regarding the location of boundaries /whether fences are in the correct place are a civil matter. The only way to determine exactly where the boundary is located is to get a surveyor involved.

Both consents notices and covenants are ‘interests’ registered on certificates of title. These indicate that there are specific matters relating to your site that you must comply with.

Where consent notices and covenants differ, is how they are imposed and who is responsible for enforcing them.

Consent notices are imposed by the Council through the subdivision process. Council will enforce compliance with these.

Examples of consent notice include:

  • Restricting you to a certain building platform
  • Requiring a geotech report to be provided with application for building consent

Covenants and encumbrances on the other hand, are usually private matters imposed by developers. Example of private covenants include;

  • Must finish construction within 12 months of started
  • House must be a certain size

Council is not responsible for ensuring compliance with private covenants, and we do not get involved with enforcing these. It is a private matter between yourself and the developer to resolve.

You can find a full list of on the planning fees and charges page.

When you lodge your resource consent application, you will be required to pay a deposit to cover the costs associated with processing your resource consent application. If processing costs exceed the deposit paid, you will be charged on an hourly basis.

For more information please call Customer Services on (06) 366 0999 or email enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz

The effect of rezoning land under the District Plan on rates or property valuation is not a simple answer.

Zoning and rating are two different processes. Councils are able to use planning boundaries for rating purposes, but Horowhenua District Council has chosen not to do so and is not intending on doing so. Council has an urban rating area which is based on the extent of existing urban development, not the potential area for urban development (i.e. urban land zones). From time to time this urban rating area is reviewed and updated to reflect the extent of the built up area of urban development.

It is possible that some rural or industrial zoned properties would be rated rurally based on being in the rural rating area and outside the urban rating area. Rates relating to services are based on the provision of services and again not based on the District Plan zoning.

Where it gets a bit murky is that the land value of a property is used in part of the rating calculation. Therefore if valuers deem the rezoning to have an impact on the market value of the land this could in turn effect the rates of a property. We have introduced a remission policy on land used for primary industry and rural lifestyle purposes in areas that have been rezoned as residential and commercial/industrial zones, to help mitigate the effect of corresponding increase in land value.

In summary, zoning can technically have an impact (indirectly) on rates. This would only be if the rezoning resulted in a valuation that changed the land value. The actual rural and urban rating areas are quite independent of the District Plan zones. Given that there are so many other factors that influence both the rates and the land valuations, rezoning can have an impact on rates.

For further information, call the rates department on (06) 366 0999 to discuss.

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If you can't find the answer you're looking for please phone (06) 366 0999 or email enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nz